Benefits of Getting a Master’s Degree in Journalism
- Relatively Short Investment
- Ability to Get Professional Experience
- More Opportunities
- A Chance to Specialize
- Improved Marketability
When deciding if you should get a Master’s in Journalism or not, it is fair to say that you will face one of the toughest choices of your life. Does spending thousands of dollars and postponing your entry to the workforce make sense? The answer is yes.
Relatively Short Investment
The vast majority of master’s degrees in the field of journalism take between one and two years. Individuals who decide to complete them at the same institution at which they got their bachelor’s degrees will usually spend closer to one year. On the grand scheme of things, it is more than fair to say that this timeframe is not going to be life-changing for anyone. After all, professionals like doctors spend north of a decade getting their education done. For a passionate prospective journalist, that year or two will be a short investment when cross-referenced with a lifetime-long career.
Ability to Get Professional Experience
One of the greatest parts of many master’s programs in journalism relates to mandatory internships. Even schools that do not have strict requirements tend to insist that students look for some form of professional work. This is where the institution’s career center can come in very handy and help you find great internships or temporary positions. Doing so will allow you to get some entry level knowledge as well as a taste of the way in which the industry operates. Not to mention that you will build relationships that can be instrumental to your subsequent success.
As with practically every professional sector in the world, more education is going to translate into more opportunities. Why? Because employers are much more likely to hire a candidate who has both a bachelor’s and a master’s than someone who only has a bachelor’s. The increased job availability will help with the hiring process as you will usually be able to secure a full-time position faster. During the time when many journalists struggle with landing dream jobs, being able to stand out from the competition will undoubtedly help you.
A Chance to Specialize
Typical coursework for a Master’s in Journalism will include topics such as strategic communications, advanced storytelling techniques, popular writing styles for print versus online platforms, and similar. It is important to note, however, that most master’s give you a chance to specialize in a certain area. For example, you could sign up to take classes that will make you an expert in things that range from documentary reporting all the way to investigative research. Such talents will translate to an even better job outlook as you will be able to showcase your specialization as proof of expert-level knowledge.
Ultimately, although you should not base your decision solely on the prospective salary, your master’s will allow you to earn more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people who have a master’s tend to make an average of $12,000 more per year than their counterparts who only have a bachelor’s. That means that you can expect to make about a $1,000 more per month. Of course, those expectations are based on approximate calculations that combine every single industry and tie to people over the age of 25. Your actual salary bump could be both lower or higher. Regardless of the amount, the fact that you will make more is unquestionable.
You should also remember that a graduate program will allow you to learn a lot of things that you would otherwise have no exposure to. In the end, even though there are many benefits of getting a master’s degree in journalism, you should weigh each of your options carefully before making a decision.
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